Bell: Throttles Your Bittorent And Serves Up Malware Too

The Toronto Star has an interesting article about Bell Canada’s Internet Service (one assumes that they’re talking about Sympatico) carrying the most malicious activity in Canada. That would include things like viruses, malware, spyware, etc. A spokesman for Symantec (who authored the study) said the following:

“Since Bell is Canada’s largest Internet provider, it’s not surprising that its users were either knowingly or unknowingly responsible for 17 per cent of what’s termed “malicious” or “undesirable” activity here, said Dean Turner, Calgary-based director of Symantec’s global intelligence network.”

To absolutely nobody’s surprise, Bell rejects their findings. Jason Laszlo who is Bell’s sock puppet spokesman said the following:

“We flat-out refuse to accept these statistics as valid,” Laszlo said. “And if Symantec is not able to properly substantiate these claims, we will demand that they withdraw and amend their findings.”

Oooh… Symantec is soooo scared.

One has to wonder if part of the reason why they’re picking on Bell is due to the fact that Symantec supplies consumer security products to Rogers for their Internet offering. In any case, Bell can likely solve this problem by getting those beavers of theirs to stop throttling the DSL connections of their customers (both retail and their resellers) and have them focus on dealing with whatever issue (perceived or real) that they have with malware.

UPDATE: The Globe And Mail has a more detailed version of this story. One quote worth noting is that he believes that traffic shaping (aka: Throttling) can deal with this issue:

“The net side effect is that when traffic shaping takes place, there are things that ISPs can do to reduce levels of malicious activity but so can users,” he said.

That seems a stupid thing to say considering he also said this:

“Users have to assume responsibility for their actions. Some people will be unaware that they’re computers are behaving badly while other people will be perfectly aware that their computers are behaving badly.”

That last statement implies that education and not throttling is the answer. In any case, he needs to clarify his statement.

UPDATE #2: Here’s a link to the actual research paper that I believe the article was referring to. (Warning: PDF Attached) The weird thing is that Bell is not mentioned in this PDF, but the rest of the facts in the PDF fit.

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